tv Democracy Now LINKTV September 15, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT
should be bombing iraq and syria simultaneously. holds a summit on combating islamic medalists -- militants, we will speak to phyllis bennis about expanding attacks in iraq. and who is paying the pro-war pundits? regularlyem on tv pushing for war with isis. they are identified as former u.s. generals. what is left out is who they work for now. military contractors that stand to benefit from another war in the middle east. then the ebola crisis deepens in west africa. in the hardest hit countries, guinea, liberia, sierra leone, the number of new cases is moving far faster than the capacity to manage them. toll nears 2500, we will speak with laurie garrett.
all that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. an international summit on combating militants from the islamic state has opened in france bringing together around 30 countries from the us-led coalition. the obama administration says several arab league countries have signed on for airstrikes in iraq and syria but no sustained campaign is imminent. speaking at the white house, josh earnest said the u.s. is at war with isil. way that we are at war with al qaeda and its affiliates around the globe, we are at war with isil. i am not just talking about the united states but this broader coalition including allies around the world who are united in confronting this threat. >> president obama has already asserted he does not eat
congressional approval to expand airstrikes into syria. on friday, the administration said it derives legal authority from the war on isil both from the 2001 terror resolution and the 2002 vote authorizing the iraq war. the claimhouse made despite president obama's previous call for appealing the war authorization measure. the news comes as video was posted online showing a member of the islamic state beheading ricocheted worker david haines. he is the third western hostage to be beheaded by the militants in less than a month. in the video, the islamic date issued death threats against another british captive, getty photographer alan henning. the obama administration has tripled its estimate of isil fighters in iraq and syria. haveia says the group may 31,500 fighters between the two
countries up from an initial estimate of 10,000. pentagon spokesperson john kirby said the numbers to not change the mission. and thatrs got bigger has intensified the scope of the enemy you are facing. i do not think there is a direct line between that and the duration of the conflict or the difficulty of the conflict. everybody here at the pentagon those of me are up against and is taking it seriously. >> president obama met with a dozen columnists and pundits ahead of his speech last week declaring expanded strikes on the islamic state. according to the huffington post, the group includes david brooks and thomas friedman, george packer, and jeffrey goldberg. we will have more on the administration's expanded war on isil after headlines. in syria, dozens have reportedly been killed in government airstrikes. the attack reportedly killed at least 42 people, including seven
children. a group of veterans from an elite israeli intelligence units have announced their refusal to spy on palestinians in the occupied territories. in a letter made public last week, 43 current and former members of the unit 8200 say israel has made no distinction between palestinians who are and are not involved in violence and uses intelligence for political persecution and harms innocent people. spokembers of the unit about their objections on israeli television. have come to an understanding that the right action over there is not self-defense. the right title would be to control the palestinian population. israel is obliged to protect itself with all resources available but when comes to what's happening in the territories, this is no longer self-defense. attemptalking about an to maintain and tighten our birth of the palestinian
population to erode their ability to sustain a proper way of life. this is also not something we think contributes to israel's security. the protest marks the first collective active refusal by a group of israeli intelligence officers. israeli politicians across the political spectrum have denounced the dissenters and government officials have threatened legal action. sweden have elected a left-leaning coalition after eight years are right rule. ransocial democratic arty on a party are rejecting austerity measures and strengthening the country's social welfare system but will face challenges after failing to win enough seats for a majority government, while the far right democrats won enough votes to emerge as the country's third leading party. in egypt, one of the country leading activists has been released on bail as he challenges a release term. alaa abd el-fattah recently launched a hunger strike to
protest the third imprisonment. he was sentenced to 15 years for challenging egypt's anti-protest law. his father, the prominent human rights attorney ahmed seif al-islam hamad died while he was in prison last month. the national football league remains at the center of controversy amidst a new case linking a player to abuse. adrien peterson, a star running back or the minnesota vikings, was indicted in texas on allegations of child abuse against his four-year-old son. he was released after posting bail saturday night and was deactivated for the game on sunday. carolinativated was defensive end greg hardy, who was found guilty of threatening and assaulting an ex-girlfriend. this follows the suspension of ray rice, following video showing him punching his ex fiancé, knocking her unconscious.
on sunday, white house chief of staff denis mcdonough said the rice tape shocked president obama. >> we have talked generally about the situation in the nfl and the president was shocked by what he saw. let's put it that way. i do not want to characterize, ray ricenk we all know being suspended indefinitely seems to be the right thing. >> nfl commissioner roger calls to resign after his handling of the case. in a statement, a group said -- in the league news, nfl officials have acknowledged one third of retired players will suffer from long-term cognitive issues.
the disclosure came in court documents on a settlement with retired players who accused the nfl of concealing the dangers of concussion. the obama administration has taken the unprecedented step of invoking the state secrets privilege to quash a private lawsuit. on friday, the justice department intervened in a case against united against nuclear iran, an advocacy group campaigning against sanctions for the government. the government said the case should be dropped because forcing the group to disclose its files would threaten national security. the government has released the invoked the state secrets privilege to dismiss cases against cia torture and nsa more or less spying. its use in a private case raises questions about the government ties to be group. there are suggestive the group may have obtained classified information. another possibility is that the u.s. is acting to protect the
israeli government, which is said to have close ties with the group. an african-american actress is using the los angeles police department of wrongly detaining her after assuming she was a prostitute. daniele watts, who starred in the oscar-nominated "django said police suspected illicit activity because she was embracing her white boyfriend inside of her car. she said she suffered injuries after please her in handcuffs. cuba has announced it is sending 165 health workers to address the ebola outbreak in west africa. specialists will be stationed in sierra leone for six months. president obama is expected to unveil the u.s. response on tuesday during a visit to the cdc in atlanta. the national institutes of health are warning that the epidemic will continue for between 12 and 18 months. a quick correction, alan henning, the british hostage, is
a taxi driver who agreed to join a humanitarian message -- message to the areas of syria. an international summit on combating militants from the islamic state has opened in france with high ranking officials from 26 nations plus representatives of the united nations, and arab league. week after comes one president obama outlined his plan to launch airstrikes against the militants in syria and to expand airstrikes in iraq. french president francois hollande called for international action to tackle the islamic state. this terrorist movement has spread in a whole territory in iraq and syria. this ignores borders and has the
ambition to build the state. that is a threat, global, so there must be a global answer. >> secretary of state john kerry spent the weekend meeting with leaders in the middle east trying to secure backing for u.s. military strikes against isis. he says the nation had received ledges of assistance from the region and beyond. >> i have been extremely encouraged to hear from all the people i have been meeting with about their readiness and willingness to participate. i can tell you right here and now that we have countries in this region, countries outside of this region, in addition to the united states, all of whom are paired to engage in military assistance in actual strikes, if that is what it requires. on saturday, video was posted online showing a member of the islamic state beheading british
aid worker david haines. he is the third western hostage to be beheaded in a month. in the video, they issued death threats against another captive, alan henning. haiderqi prime minister al-abaadi has ordered a halt to the shelling. the iraqi state had been facing criticism for bombing sunni areas. according to human rights watch, 31 civilians recently died when an iraqi airstrike hit a school housing displaced people. the dead included 24 children. according to survivors, no fighters from the islamic state were around the school at the time. plans tok about the expand airstrikes in iraq, we are joined by phyllis bennis, who has written several books, including "before & after: u.s. foreign policy and the september 11th crisis." a recent piece for the nation's
headline "the speech on diplomacy that obama should have given last night." you have come out opposed to the strikes in iraq and expanding into serious and you lay out 6.2 why. lay them out for us here. >> would be are seeing from president obama is a plan that is almost entirely military, even when he himself is saying there is no military solution. what we need is a diplomatically-based solution that starts with do no harm, stop the plans for airstrikes, and stop sending more troops. we already have boots on the ground. there are around 1500, there will be close to 1800 soon. that is number one, do no harm. the next upset to do with diplomacy. the u.s. should be engaging in direct and openly with iran on the question of persuading the iraqi government to move toward
a inclusive government. we have heard talk about it, we have heard from the new prime minister that he intends to do that. that is fine, but so far there is no new director of the ministries either for military or intelligence and security affairs. that is where the repression of sunnis, that has been so support, and has led to for isis, has come from. we need real pressure and that can come from the combination of the u.s. and iraq working together. third, we need diplomacy where the u.s. will work with russia. this is a moment when there is enormous tension over ukraine but this might be a moment for resolving some of that tension by reclaiming the good relations that were built last year between the u.s. and russia in dealing with the destruction of syria's chemical weapons arsenal. then we need a broader diplomatic mobilization that has
to go back to what was tried at the u.n., did not work, but we need to try again, for real, regional globalization -- mobilization to end the war in syria. that has to come back to, number five, a massive campaign toward disarming this area. we need an arms embargo and that will only happen if it happens on all sides. it is either all or none. the u.s. and its allies need to opposition these forces in syria. that will give them a better position to pressure russia and iran to stop arming the syrian regime. finally, a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian support that the u.s. is providing. that kind of a policy is what we should've heard from obama the other night. unfortunately what we heard was a military strategy which is absolutely not going to work. you think it is that this
time president obama has laid out a military strategy and not consider diplomatic options, and the last year in august, following the chemical weapons attack, he backed down from his ?hreat to strike militarily what happened in the interim meeting time. moments ofve been crisis in iraq and syria, when there was a question of would the u.s. intervene militarily. one of the problem this we do not hear options. we hear the choice that george bush gave the nation on september 12 after the september ,1 attacks, when we were told the choice is either we go to war or we let them get away with it. presented with those two options, the support for going to war was 80%, and that is not surprising, if the only alternative is, do nothing.
the problem is all the options it have to do with it, see, disarmament, arms embargo -- none of that was on the table. this time around, we saw an immediate response partly around the humanitarian crisis that was happening on mountains and jar, although we were told that there were not 30,000 people starving on a mountain but about 3000 and most had already been safely escorted off the mountain, not because of u.s. airstrikes, but because of the work of the syrian kurds who escorted them down the mountain through serious and then back into iraq. and then we have the political response to the horrific crime of isis when they beheaded two american journalists. act, buta horrifying it was not a threat to the united states, and the reality was, the politics is when then came to the fore. the politics of revenge, very
much like 9/11, took over. there was a fear in washington, i think, of looking like we were not doing anything, because anything is always described as anything military. so if there is going to be a response, it has to be military because we do not have another. we do not take seriously responses that are diplomatic, somehow nonmilitary. to,ink that led particularly from the press coverage, the hyped horror of this. as if it was the only time that such horrific acts have been taking place. the new york times" was only mainstream media that that the free syrian army, the so-called moderate part of the syrian rebels, who the u.s. now wants to increase aid and military support and theying and arming -- that
had itself beheaded six cap this, six visitors that they had control of. --ht after shooting to death right after the shooting death of an american who had been caught by isis. these kindsr when of acts of brutality are taking place on all sides. the idea that in response to that there will be a military response, that we will go to war against a criminal, horrific act, simply is not going to work any better than it did in 2001. "face the nation" over the weekend, john kerry emphasized the role of fighting isil. >> one of the regrettable things is fighting isil by itself over the course of the last couple of
years and it is one of the reasons they have had a difficult battle. now with the air support and other effort from other countries, they will be augmented in their capacity. one of the things the president put into plan is the effort to increase training, equipping, advising to the syrian opposition. i can't tell you whether some other country in the neighborhood will or won't decide to put people in there. >> that is john kerry. excluding iran and syria. also, stevens, sotloff, the family saidsperson, barak barfi, that the so-called moderate syrian rebels being discussed as the ones to support, are the ones that sold steven sotloff to isis. and about who gains here,
interestingly, the u.s. would go behind the scenes. their actions may support iran and syria, excluding them from today's summit. this is politically driven, not strategically driven. 'ster secretary kerry statement over the weekend, the news broke yesterday that there has actually been a truce signed between isis and at least part -- we do not know how many of the over 1000 separate syrian opposition groups -- but a major component of the syrian opposition has signed a truce with isis, agreeing that as long is in power,regime they will not fight each other. it is an agreement not to fight. so this notion that somehow the syrian opposition is going to fight isis, is simply not the case. there have been parts of the
searing opposition that have challenged isis, but the notion that now with new u.s. weapons they are going to turn on isis simply is not the case. they have publicly announced a truce that they have signed with isis and that means all of the u.s. weapons and training sent to those parts of the syrian opposition -- and remember, these are fluid organizations that shift around a lot. all of those weapons and training will add to the value of isis and its own military capacity because there is now this truce. thehe notion that somehow syrian opposition is going to be an ally of the united states against isis, which objectively supports the regime in syria and iran, while not allowing those countries to participate in the diplomatic discussion about how , simplychallenge isis
points to the political nature of this kind of discussion. we saw this earlier in the crisis, two years ago when the human began to try to put talks together to deal with the emerging civil war in syria, the united states said iran cannot be a participant. somehow everybody went along surprisingly,not if you do not have people at the table, diplomacy will fail. the same thing is likely to happen this time. it is in the interest of the syrian government to have isis be the target. we heard in president obama's speech, he used the language of the searing regime having lost legitimacy. notinterestingly, we did hear a repeat of his constant call for that regime to be destroyed. he said before that regime must go. assad must go.
we did not hear any of that from president obama's speech. pointrd almost one side that the regime had lost its legitimacy with no consequence. so there is an agreement in a sense, quietly, maybe behind the scenes, maybe only going on through winks and nods, and what is left out of speeches, but clearly there is a greater in the u.s. and the searing regime that right now the targeting will be against isis. same is true with iran. crucial -- refusal to acknowledge that is likely to fail. the free syrian army has denied reports that it has come to a truce with isis. could you elaborate on the argument that you make in several of your articles that this bombing campaign is only likely to strengthen isis, in iraq and syria? how would that happen?
>> if we look at the situation in iraq, when there are u.s. bombings of isis, what we here in the u.s. and in the press and among the public and the white house, state department -- hooray, we got the bad guys. it looks very different in iraq, particularly for iraqi sunnis, about 12% of the population, have been dispossessed of their privileged position that they had had for several decades before the u.s. occupation. in recent years during the analogy government, -- malik e-government, that privilege turned into repression, where people lost their jobs and faced imprisonment on a large scale, people were being tortured in prison, executions in large numbers. so the repression was strong. what we see when the u.s. goes after isis, the perception is,
here is the u.s. acting as the air force for the shia and the kurds against the sunni. that will not encourage sunni tribal leaders, who have brought their militia to support isis, the sunni former general, many of whom are now fighting with isis and presenting them with experienced military leadership, and ordinary sunnis who may not like what isis stands for -- these are pretty secular people. they are citizens of the modern world, not try to go back to the seventh century, like isis is. but despite that, they are prepared to rely -- ally with isis because the oppression they face from the iraqi government has been so profound they will ally with anyone prepared to fight back. so the new government now in power in baghdad may represent an effort to broaden the government but we have not seen it yet.
more importantly, the sunni population of iraq has not seen it yet. bombs,ime the u.s. drops it is perceived as one more indication that nothing has changed, that sunnis in iraq will soon be the target of the shia and kurdish forces backed by the u.s. and now perhaps other regional and international governments as well. the funding ofp, isis and the u.s. relationship to saudi arabia. why you think this is key, and if the pressure were brought in would you feel is the right way, there would not have to be any bombing. >> saudi arabia is the source of the largest amount of money, from what reports are indicating, that is going to isis as well as a host of other organizations, the l nusra front. some of it comes from the government, although that has not been confirmed, but this is
a very tightly controlled society where if there was an interest the government in stopping its own citizens, whether saudi princes or ordinary print -- people, who are a huge amount of the money funding these organizations including isis, it could be contained. the saudi government has been eager to keep isis out of saudi arabia. the fact that the u.s. has an enormous base in the region makes it very vulnerable for those who see the u.s. role as something to be challenged, opposed. did i want to talk about that alliance with the united states, but there is $60 billion worth of arms that they in the u.s.gaged with, and many of those arms are ending up in the hands of isis. whether it is individual or part of the government, a large amount of the money is coming
from saudi arabia and kuwait, uae, a number of countries, but saudi arabia is very much at the center of this. the u.s.-saudi alliance is such that if the u.s. chose to challenge the sellers of this war, the new iraq war, 3.0, we might say, if they were to challenge those arms suppliers and thus the saudi government, there could be a real effort to stop the funding and arming of these organizations like isis. >> we want to thank you for being with us. fellow from the institute for policy studies. we will link to your piece at the nation. who are the people you are watching on television? what is their vested interest in going to war? are they identified by the networks or are they simply called generals or pundits?
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. >> we go to a report that talks about the talking heads fanning the flames for war being paid by contractors. in a story, "who's paying the " lee fong says? that the authors have contracts with some of the largest military organizations in the world. >> the ties of pundits to
pentagon contractors are not disclosed by the media where they proffer their views. one of the worst offenders in this regard is retired general jack keane, who has appeared on fox news at least nine times over the last two months advocating military strikes against isis. the air campaign taking place in iraq right now will be expanded but also we should expand immediately into syria. he does not need authorization for that. i will leave it up to him about whether or fact -- whether or not he needs it or not, but we should be bombing serious and iraq simultaneously. been introduced as a think tank leader and a former military official. the is not is closed is range of affiliations with pentagon contractors. he is an advisor to the group formally known as blackwater and
is also a venture partner to scp partners, an investment firm that works with military contractors. it think tank has also provided data on isis to media outlets. to find out more, we go to the author of the piece, lee fong. now!me to democracy talk about general keane and some of the other people that you have found -- the issue is not so much who they work for, but that they are not identified as working for them when they are brought on television. >> that is right. we look at a number of prominent pundits, contributors to cable news network's, who have gone on television, appeared in the pages of different print outlets, submitted offense, and these individuals are only identified for their previous as officials at the state
department, former generals. their current roles as advisors or board members to defense contractors have not been disclosed. many of these individuals have called for an escalation in the region, arming different militant groups, calling for increased air campaign for entering the conflict in syria, many different military solutions to a very complex problem. as you mentioned, these they'reals have not -- ties to military contractors that could benefit from these policies, have not been disclosed. you talk about former general jack keane. he is the fox news military analyst. he appears regularly on the sunday programs and primetime television. remember, fox news is the largest cable network. they bring in 4.5 million
viewers in their prime time news cases,e and in many keane is the only military voice , the analyst brought in to provide the military point of view, so many americans are only getting his opinion without knowing that he works for many different defense contractors. >> i want to turn to comments made by someone else whom you cite in the piece, frances townsend, who has also been calling for a tougher stance on isis. she had worked in the bush administration. targets in iraq will not be enough. all you will do is push them back into the safe. that syria has become. we need issued ticket plan to absolutely wipeout ices completely. >> this cannot just be an iraqi isolation. if you do that, you push them into syria where they enjoy safe haven. you need a broader strategy that includes the syrian safe haven
area. >> can you talk about who she is thathy it is complicated she is saying which is? >> she is a former bush administration official, a contributor to cnn, meaning she is a regular guest, appearing almost every other day, but is also an advisor to several defense consulting firms, works at a holding company, macandrews and forbes, which owns several defense contractors. one of the largest is am general, which makes a large armored vehicles. obviously, this is a company that has benefited from the war in iraq. they have sold many vehicles to the government there. when she goes on television and discusses military action in cases, talksmany solely about the need to increase military involvement in the region, she is not
herlosing how some of current ties to military contractors could pose a conflict of interest. >> i want to turn to comments zinni, who has been advocating for a large deployment of u.s. troops to the region. he recently spoke to fox news following the release of the video showing steven sotloff being beheaded. >> i think clearly this group has to be dealt with firmly. the atrocities they have committed, near genocide in some cases, the beheadings that are absolutely horrific. we need to do what we are especiallyto destroy their conventional capability they have taken from the iraqis and from others in syria and iraq. i support the airstrikes. eventually we will have to have a security assistance program in place for the kurds
and the iraqis to make sure they can prevent the possibility of isis coming back. >> that is general anthony zinni advocating for more war in the middle east. did you call the networks, lee fong, to get their response to why they are not identifying these pundits or former generals as contractors for the contractors? out and they did not respond, the networks or the pundits. if they do, we will update the piece. general said, he is a board member to bae systems. earlier this month, bank of america released a research note systems,g that bae which is the stock that slumped through the year, is expected to
rebound because of the conflict in iraq and syria and the region . this entire military strategy, the military escalation, certainly benefits companies like zinni's firm. the correlation between the number of people advocating for war, or should i say the lack of antiwar response in the media, with the polls that show overwhelmingly of are for striking islamic state? of course, military opinion is not monolithic, but on many of these networks, you hear from a limited set of opinions. for fox news, if you watch their prime time coverage, which is dominating, it receives more viewers than the two biggest competitors, msnbc and cnn combined. you only hear from a very small set of opinions, folks like
retired general jack keane. they are the only experts brought on for these programs. of course, if americans are only hearing from a select point of view, they do not hear from a diverse array of expert opinion. that will influence public opinion. no one is saying that we should not have some of these former generals speaking in the media. ethicsny experts, media professors and others have called for, is simply for more disclosure. >> we want to thank you for being with us, lee fong. back, the crisis of ebola. we will be joined by laurie garrett. stay with us. [♪]
is warning the number of ebola cases in west africa is growing faster than they can manage. more medical professionals are urgently needed to help contain the right. so far, ebola has claimed 2400 lives and continues to lack -- ravage liberia, sierra leone, and guinea. at a press conference on friday, the director general of the world health organization said the nature of the outbreak requires a massive river response. the hardest hit countries, guinea, liberia, and sierra leone, the number of new cases is moving far faster and the capacity to manage them in treatment centers. >> meanwhile, sierra leone has lost a fourth dr. to ebola after her treatment failed. died hours after the who said it could not
facilitate her evacuation to germany. for the is a major set country which is already suffering from a shortage of health-care workers. since the outbreak began, 144 health-care workers have died. is with us, from the council of foreign relations. pulitzer prize winner from 1996 for her coverage of the ebola outbreak. she has two books, "the coming plague: newly emerging diseases in a world out of balance" and "betrayal of trust: the collapse of global public health." talk about the numbers and what you feel needs to be done. >> the numbers are really unknown. this is the big problem. because hospitals are completely overfull, april are dying on the sidewalks, on the dirt roads outside of the hospitals, not able to get it admitted, we know
the majority of people are now keeping family members in their homes, not bringing them forward. al the numbers you hear are gross undercount and represent only laboratory confirmed cases. most of the people on the ground say it is understated threefold which would say that we have something in the neighborhood of 12,000 to 15,000 cases already. keep in mind, while we are focused on three nations that are really devastated, liberia, sierra leone, and guinea, we also have cases in senegal, nigeria, and in a completely separate and different strain of thevirus breaking out in democratic republic of congo. that is also proving more difficult to control than people had initially thought. i think we are in a turning point -- and i would say everyone i have spoken to on the ground, everyone in leadership would agree with me -- that we
are at a turning point. either we find a way to mobilize in a scale unprecedented for epidemic response or we would be looking at something like a quarter million cases by christmas. >> what would mobilization look like? let's oppose the u.s. military was building a 25-vet hospital in monrovia for the care of infected health-care workers. supposedly the british government is building a 68-vet hospital in sierra leone for care of health-care workers and the acutely infected. supposedly france is sending 40 people. we are not sure what skill set they have. but all of this i say supposedly , because a commitment on paper does not equal rapid action. i was at the department of defense last week and it turns out to mobilize a 25-bed facility, by the way, unstaffed
-- they will not staff it, but there will be beds -- that takes 50 days. so we will be into october before that facility is even there. the fastest beds that are being erected, those are overfull and turning people away outside. so the nature of response is so far beyond the virus, so far behind the scale of the, it is almost impossible to quantify how we need to respond. >> what are your recent pieces is called, we could've stopped this. could you explain? >> if we had a response that was to scale in march, april, may, , but as this was growing largely remained a verbal epidemic in sierra leone, theea, and liberia, msf,
doctors without borders organization, and a handful of other nongovernmental responders response.g a decent what was not happening was a local government doing case contacting. you have a person here at the hospital bed. it's fine their family members and test them, let's see where they were, who might've been exposed, and get these people in quarantines and observe them. nobody was doing that. >> and that did not happen because they did not have the capacity? >> and the international response was zip. the who was asleep. did somebody say there was an epidemic? >> isn't this a crisis of public health, in the u.s., funding, as well as at the level of the world health organization? -- wes is a screaming cry could not ask for a letter one
-- that says globalization is not working, we do not have a system of global governance, and we do not have anything close to global health when it comes to getting things done. we knew this because we had the h1n1 flights who square -- flying -- swine flu virus care. every country in the world was affected. globala breakdown of solidarity around that because of the meager supplies that were available only went to the rich countries and the poor countries, the middle income countries were left saying, what about us? it gave a clear indication of what we would do in an epidemic. we will take care of the risk -- rich, and the rest of you, maybe you get aspirin. sendingannounced it is 160 five health workers to address the ebola outbreak. a team of doctors, nurses, infection specialists, will be
stationed in sierra leone for six months. >> we will cooperate with a brigade of 165 collaborators made up of 62 doctors and nurses , all of them with 15 years professional experience and have withd in countries epidemic disasters and have also missions.h epidemic meanwhile, the bill and melinda gates foundation has donated $50 million to the relief effort. writesnancial times" that raul castro and bill gates may not be the most natural allies, but the pair have emerged at the forefront to combat the ebola outbreak.
cuba putting the u.s. to shame? that, butt know about the one genuinely asset cuba has is trained primary health care workers. they have a long tradition of flying them into places of need and being able to respond. be welcomedviously on the ground in sierra leone. the problem is, where are they going to work? there are not enough facilities. exactly how will they do patient care? the one thing i would caution about with the cubans is they do not have experience working in ppe suits, under maximum protective care. this is why people are getting it. it is 120 degrees centigrade inside one of those suits. after one hour in that kind of heat, coupled with the emotional tension dealing with this disease, people start to get sloppy.
you develop fatigue, you do not quite notice where the syringe the city your protective suit. this is where accidents are occurring. it takes a special skill to work under these conditions. it is interesting to note, msf has been and still is the number one responder, doctors without borders, and they have not had any other people infected. they know what they are doing. the cubans included should go through training with msf before they come into contact with patients. >> this also goes to the development of vaccines. do companies really pour money into ebola vaccines when they think they will not be making money? talk about the crisis of the drugs needed to deal with the ebola. >> it was top of the list, in the top 10 for project bio shield.
here we are a few days after the 9/11 anniversary, and one of the things that happened after her the anthrax mailings which resulted in members of congress being exposed, saying we want vaccines for these things, we want more science. billions and billions of dollars various projects, ebola vaccine were among the things on the list. there was a lot of money, and got some assistance down the path to a potential vaccine, gsk gunned down the path on one, and so on. the problem is, where is the marketplace for something that may not be able to survive refrigeration for very long? you have to wait for an epidemic to occur before you will mass manufacture because they cannot just sit on shelves. trying to come up with proper market incentives for anything like this is proving elusive at
best. >> in a recent piece by the director of the center for infectious disease research and , he warnedinnesota of the possibility that the ebola virus could someday mutate into an airborne strain. do you agree with that, and if so, what would the implications the? i know might very well and i was surprised by that op-ed. moreus documentation of than 300 mutations have occurred in the current circulating strain. it is unusual for ebola to circulate through so many humans in one giant incident, the largest ever. as a result, every time a virus goes to a different species, this is normally a bat virus, and when it comes to contact with humans is picking up genetic material, and like many
rna viruses, makes mistakes when it reproduces. is a huge mutation rate, however, none of them so far have functionally changed the virus at all. most of the mutations have resulted in something that just died out because it did not include functionality. could the virus turn into an airborne virus? very, very unlikely, but it could be droplet transmitted. this is the real issue. the viruses that you think of as airborne, let's take the flu as an example, the virus itself cannot exist without moisture. if you put it out on the table top and let it sit there and put a blow dryer to it, you desiccated, the virus falls apart. it needs water. it has to be in the presence of some kind of liquid. in the case of flu, it is able to have sufficient fluid from your nasal or coughing, when you
cough out, is how you transmit flu. contrast, infects the blood. people do not spit up blood unless they are acutely ill with something, so transmission right now is contact. the bleeding or the sweating fluid of an individual infected, and then rub your nose, your eyes, heat some food with those unwashed hands, that is the nature of transmission. could the virus mutated into one that could end up more airborne transmissible? it would haveut to take on a respiratory cycle similar to what we see with the flu. that would be huge because the main target cells are the cells that line blood vessels, capillaries, arteries, and so on. the way it kills you is it coped little holes in those blood linings and allows blood to hemorrhage into the rest of your body. world. with ebola like
a are doing with isis -- right now there is an international summit in france, headlines across the front edges of the paper. when you are talking about the number of people killed, we are talking in the thousands, maybe around 5000 right now, many more infected. what about that? it's interesting because i have spent time talking to our military people about the evil response and they are wondering what does the president want us to do with isis? out, there are more than 4000 physician working for the armed forces of the u.s. of thosee deploy some into liberia, sierra leone, and so on? response from the military leadership is that yes, the majority of them worked in the v.a., and we will not put our veterans at greater risk, so we